Why vaccinate adults against pneumococcal disease?
- In the US, 85 percent of pneumococcal disease cases are in adults.
- More than 50,000 cases of pneumococcal bacteremia occur in the US each year. The case-fatality rate of bacteremia among adults is 15-20 percent.
- As many as 175,000 people are hospitalized due to pneumococcal pneumonia in the US each year. The case-fatality rate of pneumococcal pneumonia is 5-7 percent.
- Approximately 3,000 to 6,000 cases of pneumococcal meningitis occur each year in the US. The case-fatality rate of pneumococcal meningitis among adults is 16-37 percent.
- Pneumococcal disease has high associated morbidity. Pneumococcal meningitis can cause hearing loss, seizures, blindness, and paralysis. Concurrent cardiac events are common among patients hospitalized with pneumococcal pneumonia.
Which adults need pneumococcal vaccination?
CDC currently recommends pneumococcal vaccination for:
- All adults age 65 and older
- Adults age 19 through 64 years with lung, heart, liver, or kidney disease; asthma; diabetes; alcoholism; immunocompromising conditions cancer; a damaged or missing spleen; cochlear implants; or cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) leaks
- Adults living in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
- All adults who smoke cigarettes
There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines available for adults: a pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) and a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13).
Adults with any of the following need to receive both vaccines: immunocompromising conditions (e.g., HIV/AIDS, leukemia, lymphoma, and Hodgkins disease); a damaged or missing spleen; cochlear implants; or CSF leaks.
Other adults who are recommended for pneumococcal vaccination only need PPSV23, but may need more than one dose. For more information, speak with your healthcare professional.Did you know...
pneumococcal disease can cause meningitis, pneumonia, or a blood infection?
What happens when someone gets pneumococcal disease?
- Pneumococcal disease can cause pneumonia, meningitis, or blood infection.
- People with pneumococcal disease may have a combination of high fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, stiff neck, disorientation, and sensitivity to light.
Why is pneumococcal vaccine important?
- In its worst forms, pneumococcal disease kills one in three people who contract it.
- Getting vaccinated is the safest, most effective way to protect against this infection.
FAQ: Can I get the influenza and pneumococcal vaccines at the same time?
Yes. These vaccines can be given at the same time, but in different arms. In fact, pneumococcal disease can be a complication of influenza, so getting both vaccines is a smart choice. Unlike influenza vaccine, however, pneumococcal vaccination is not given every year.